How To

How To Stop a Toddler From Unbuckling Car Seat

Most toddlers get a little stressed during car rides and end up unbuckling their car seats’ safety belts. You may find this behavior horrific because that safety belt is supposed to keep them secure. Don’t panic yet, as we have the perfect solution for this nagging problem.

To stop a toddler from unbuckling a car seat, you need to enlighten the child about maintaining safety at all times. You must also show them by using your seat belts as well. We recommend talking with your toddler and observing the same practices because they learn by what they see.

Some toddlers may indeed ignore the conversation you have with them and continue to unstrap themselves from their seats. Please read this article to learn other ways to prevent your child from removing their safety harness during a drive.

How To Stop A Toddler From Unbuckling A Car Seat.

To prevent your toddler from unbuckling their car seat, you have to make them understand the importance of the safety belt. We have further discussed in detail the ways to stop a toddler from unbuckling a car seat.

Converse Approach 

Step1- Have that in-depth conversation with them.

Step2- Talk to your toddler in a way he/she will understand.

Step3- Give them reasons why it’s crucial to have their safety harness in place at all times during a drive.

 You can go further to observe the same practices that you teach. Children are intuitive and learn from what they see. 

Be Calm

So you have talked, but it seems your kid has a different plan from yours. Do not lose your cool or get worked up. They sometimes love the huge acknowledgments and the attention that comes when they do something they should not do.

You do not want this to be a common issue. Yes, it’s a safety hazard, but downplay it and attend to it like a non-issue. 

Be Playful

You have to understand that your kid doesn’t know any better, so teach them. 

  1. Make it a fun exercise between you and your little one.
  2. Look for exciting terms to keep your child interested and relaxed.
  3. Use silly voices to convey your message.

Practice

Involve your toddler in repeated safety steps during practice rides. Toddlers learn from recounted occurrences better. Drive around your home or other short distances. 

Pull-over the car each time your child unstraps their car seat and do not move the vehicle until they buckle up. Get the child’s attention without provoking a subduing mindset. Of course, they need to know there are outcomes for unruly behavior.

Remember to keep it fun but educative; get them to do it themselves. Celebrate your children when they buckle it back. No, it’s not a reward for bad behavior but to enjoy their milestones.

Distractions 

You have to keep the child busy, so he/she prioritizes something else. As long as the activity is fun, you will not need to worry about them unstrapping the seat belts. Let them choose the fun activity and join them.

Please do not get tired of making fun memories with your little one.

Get A Clip

When all other ways have failed, you can use a car seat belt clip. You may also combine any of the other methods with the seat clip. Your toddler’s safety remains vital.

When you put it, please do not use it with a disciplinary attitude. Remember, kids, are intuitive and can rebel just because they can. 

Observe Them

In some situations, the toddler isn’t just comfortable in their seats. Probably due to motion sickness or the straps are chaffing them badly. Look at them, observe and conclude what might be the issue.

How Do I Prevent My Overly-Active Child From Exiting His Seat?

You can employ child-proof products so that your child will not easily remove the seat belts. The unbuckling seat belt can be likened to a phase or just the fact that your toddler can not sit in a place for too long. But child-proof products are not recommended because, in case of an emergency, the rescue team may not know how to remove them.

We have put together some tricks and techniques to utilize and keep your kid in his seat. You can combine these tips with any other one that you find interesting.

  1. Strap your child as you usually would but turn the buckle around, so it’s underneath. It can buy your time until he figures out how to get it off.
  2. Stop and pull over the car immediately your kid unbuckles their belt. Inform them that you can’t allow them to ride without their belts on. Be firm but loving as you correct them.
  3. If you can cancel your trip, please do and go back home. Your child will immediately understand how important keeping their safety harness on is. 
  4. Explaining new things to your toddler is continuous for that stage of their life. They are curious and question you a lot. Be ready to give reasons why wearing the safety belt is compulsory.
  5. Cover all the necessary information and be sure they understand what you are saying. Go ahead and wear your seat belts. Show them everyone in the car has to wear it.
  6. Notice when they keep the seat belts on and celebrate them. Children love to be observed and noticed.
  7. If the child is old enough, show him how to strap on their belt. Tell them to maintain it until you say otherwise.

What Is The Best Seat Clip I Can Use To Prevent My Child From Unbuckling The Car Seat?

You can get a store-bought product, or you can make a DIY alternative.

Store-Bought Product

Get a great clip guard from Amazon and have it delivered to you. This clip costs $49.95, and Merritt Manufacturing manufactures it. This product dissuades your kid from shoving down or trying to open their safety harness.

Product Description 

  • It prevents kids from exiting the car safety belt. 
  • Fastens shoulder belts 
  • Please note that the clip guard doesn’t displace the safety belts as they are add-on accessories. They help to prevent sliding down of the existing safety straps. 

DIY option: The Disposable cup hack

  • Slash a long thin slot under the disposable cup.
  • Flip the cup over and put the metal clip of the seat belt into the hole.

It will be almost impossible for your kid to remove the safety harness with one hand. You can use a paper cup because the cut-out edges will be less likely to injure your child. Also, in case of an accident, the rescue team can be removed it easy. Although in a more difficult situation, the full straps may have to cut off.

This hack also works if you have put in your child’s car seat using the safety belt. It helps avoid passengers from unknowingly removing them.

Please note that the disposable cup tip is not for long term use. Take out time and teach your child the advantages of the safety harness. 

What Steps Do I Take In Ensuring My Toddler Doesn’t Unbuckle Or Escape His Car Seat Safety Harness?

1.Check The Safety Belt Position On Your Kid’s Shoulders

As your child grows, he/she fit the seats more perfectly. It’s necessary to check the safety belt to see if you need to make any adjustments.

  • Back Facing Car Seats- in this case, the safety straps should be on or slightly below the shoulders. It’s advisable to follow this rule. 
  • Forward-Facing Car Seats – in this case, the safety straps should be on or above the shoulders. A collision will make a forward-facing child jerk forward. The too high or too low harness gives the child enough room for escape.

2.Adjust The Child’s Safety Belt

Each time you put your child in his seat, adjust the safety harness. Make sure it’s firm and eliminate sickness at the shoulder and hip region. You want it tight but not uncomfortable for your child.

Employ the pinch method, after securing the child, try to pinch the straps. You should not be able to grip the belt.

3.Child-Proof Device

If, after trying these methods, you still need extra reinforcement, get a car seat child-proof device. It will prevent your little one from unfastening their belts at the most awkward moments.

We advise that you use only products that are crash-approved.

Conclusion 

Your toddler may decide to unbuckle their safety harness during a drive and refuse to put it back on. Employ the different techniques to ensure it doesn’t happen often. As a last resort, get a store-bought safety seat clip to prevent them from unbuckling the seat belt.

A disposable cup can work as well in guarding the car seat harness buckle against your toddler’s hands.

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Welcome to my car seat blog! As a mom of 3, I put together with other hard-working moms a highly informative one-stop car seat resource, full with many reviews and buyer guides. I hope you find it invaluable. Thank you for trusting me & my team! - Keren